There was a festival of lights in Pierre Monday, Nov. 25. The 19th annual Parade of Lights marched from T.F. Riggs High School to its completion at the American Legion on South Pierre Street. And, especially with the nice, kind of, weather, it was an all-around success.

The scuttlebutt is last year was cold. This year, the wind made early float arrivals use colorful language as they set up their constructions for the parade. A little after 5 p.m. the wind died down, and it was reasonably pleasant.

The event is sponsored by the Pierre Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber CEO Jamie Seiner expected a pretty good turnout because the weather was better than last year’s.

“This is our 19th year doing the Pierre Parade of Lights,” said Seiner. “We have a variety of awards we distribute to the participants.”

There are six awards. A first, second and third place, a people’s choice, as well as a mayor’s choice and the Griswold award for the most flare and lights.

This year first place went to Fun Time Rentals’ gingerbread house. Second place was Dakota Radio Group’s toy land float, and third place went to Ferding Electric’s penguin.

The mayor’s award went to a thinking person’s float. It was called “Worlds Apart.” It was a two-sided diorama of sorts, with a presumed wife and children on one side, with an Army sergeant on the backside in a separate container with camo netting to make it look like the soldier and the wife were communicating without being near each other, while not communicating, as is often done by deployed service members and their loved ones.

The Griswold award, named after the National Lampoon's Christmas movies, was awarded to South Dakota High School Rodeo Queen Tahina Red Hawk, a sophomore at White River High School 75 miles southwest of Fort Pierre.

“This is one of many that I don’t have to do, but I get to do,” Red Hawk said. “I love being a representative and a role model.”

People’s choice went to Beck Motor and their Charlie Brown float.

Chamber of Commerce CEO Seiner said if folks missed the event and would like to see it replayed it will be available on Oahe Television starting Thursday on Thanksgiving and played through Christmas.

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